Deer University podcasts are all about deer biology and management. Drs. Bronson Strickland and Steve Demarais are both deer hunters, deer biologists, professors of wildlife management, and co-directors of the Mississippi State University Deer Lab. Steve and Bronson are so crazy about deer biology and management that they made it their career!
Our goal is to explain how you can use deer research to improve your hunting and management experiences. Don’t take for granted what your buddy says or what you read in a hunting magazine – we’ll train you to think like a deer biologist. As national leaders in deer research, we’ll keep you up to date on the latest and best information, and deliver episodes that cover every deer management topic you can imagine, and then add some that will surprise you.
If you are interested in deer hunting and management, this is your podcast! Every shot you take this fall is either a step forward or backward in your management program, so use our knowledge to make every shot count!
Hosts of Deer University:
Dr. Bronson Strickland, Professor of Wildlife Management, Mississippi State University Extension Service
Dr. Steve Demarais, Professor of Wildlife Management, Mississippi State University Forest and Wildlife Research Center
Bronson and Steve have a conversation with Donnie Draeger to discuss the topic of culling. Two concepts are discussed in our conversation 1) culling to improve genetics, and 2) culling to manage the buck population to maintain a proper density and conserve food. In free-ranging deer herds, culling to improve genetics simply does not work for several reasons explained in the podcast. However, if you are in an area where deer density must be controlled, and high-quality foods are limited, you should harvest does and consider strategically harvesting some middle-aged bucks with below average antlers. For more information on culling, consider checking out the book "Strategic Harvest System: How to Break Through the Buck Management Glass Ceiling" that can be found here.
What are the most common habitat management mistakes? In this episode we visit with Deer Habitat guru, Dr. Craig Harper, of the University of Tennessee. Over his 20+ year career, Craig has worked all over the US helping hunters and managers create habitat for deer in forests and old fields. He is also the author of several books on food plots for deer and other wildlife. Craig will share his insight into the most common mistakes he encounters, as well as strategies for success. Enjoy!
Bryan Richards and Paul Shelton have been studying and managing Chronic Wasting Disease for almost 20 years. Bryan provides information on CWD in his home state of Wisconsin, and Paul describes how the Illinois DNR has managed the disease. These two biologists are a wealth of information and they describe the disparity in how their states are managing CWD.
Steve, Marcus, and Bronson discuss the importance of summer nutrition for deer. We review some research on seasonal fluctuations in plant quality, nutritional requirements of bucks and does, and some of the most common warm-season food plot forages. Also, Marcus has an announcement to make.
The deer herd located in southern portion of the Mississippi Delta region is undergoing an unprecedented flood event. Some experts estimate that about ¾ of a million acres are currently flooded, and many of these areas have been flooded for months. Deer are undergoing extreme nutritional stress as they are confined to the high ground and their food supply has been exhausted. In this episode, Steve and Bronson review the effects of floods on deer herds adjacent to the Mississippi River, and discuss the potential impacts of the current flood.
Forest management matters! Steve, Marcus, and Bronson discuss how forest management affects where deer spend time. Want to draw more deer to your property? Want deer to spend more time on your property? Manage the forest on your property to produce food and cover.
So you want to start a supplemental feeding program? You better listen to this episode. We again visit with deer biologist, Donnie Draeger, and discuss the pros and cons of supplemental feeding. Donnie and colleagues designed a study to determine exactly what impact a supplemental feeding program would have on antler size and body weight of free-ranging bucks. If you are expecting immediate results, and/or you only have a few feeders…don’t waste your time and money.
Jeremy Flinn is graduate of the MSU Deer Lab and is now the Chief Marketing Officer for Stone Road Media, a company that represents many of the well-known brands in the hunting industry. We talk about the influence "brand-name" hunters have on the education of the hunting public and how Jeremy is working to insure accurate, biologically sound information is being distributed. We also talk about habitat management differences in the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest, and how Jeremy uses biological knowledge about buck movements, complimented with camera technology, to most effectively scout and harvest deer. If you would like to reach out to Jeremy, you can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Culling to improve genetics is likely one of the most hotly debated topics among deer hunters. How often have you heard “that spike buck is genetically inferior.” Or, “I culled that buck to get him out of the gene pool”? Heck, you may have even said this yourself! In this episode we listen to deer biologist Donnie Draeger of the Comanche Ranch in South Texas as he describes the results from a landmark, 13-year study, designed to answer this question once and for all – to determine if culling can be used to “improve” genetics and increase the average antler size of bucks.
Steve and Bronson discuss implications of the 2nd positive CWD sample in Mississippi and have a conversation about common questions surrounding eating venison.